Our Team

Richard Harkrader – Chief Executive Officer

Richard’s primary responsibility is to ensure the overall management of Carolina Solar Energy, LLC’s business strategy.

Richard Harkrader, an architect emeritus, building contractor, solar installer and real estate developer, is the founder and partner in two other businesses: New Morning Solar Realty that built and managed 45 passive solar apartments with solar hot water and now owns and manages commercial real estate. In addition, Richard is Treasurer and Projects Manager for Sister Communities of San Ramon Nicaragua where he and his wife, Lonna, manage community development projects.

Mr. Harkrader advocates for renewable energy and energy efficiency serving three times as Chair of the NC Sustainable Energy Association, where he is currently on the Board. He is a founding member and Treasurer of the North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance. He served for 7 years as the environmental representative on the NC Legislative Study Commission on Electric Utility Deregulation and was instrumental in starting NC GreenPower where he was Vice Chair for 2 years. Mr. Harkrader lives in Durham, NC.

Gerry Dudzik – Chief Operating Officer

Gerry’s primary responsibility is to manage the day-to-day operations of Carolina Solar Energy LLC.  In addition, Gerry has responsibilities for new business development, project proposal development, marketing and communications and technology vendor relations.

Prior to joining Carolina Solar Energy, Gerry was one of the founding partners of Carolina Green Energy LLC, a North Carolina utility scale wind energy developer. Gerry led the launch of the digital wireless service in the Southeast US for AT&T, serving as their Vice President of Marketing responsible for distribution channel development, pricing, market research and advertising/PR.  Before joining AT&T, Gerry held senior marketing, operations and sales management positions with GTE Wireless, Cellular One and Volvo Cars of North America.

Gerry has over 25 years of experience in new business development, strategic marketing, field operations management and new product introductions.  Mr. Dudzik lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

Carson Harkrader – Director of Project Development

Carson is responsible for developing projects and forging finance partnerships. She joined CSE in 2012 after eight years as a Commercial Leader with GE Energy, where she led teams to sell wind and gas turbines in the USA, Canada, and Asia. In this role Carson was the lead negotiator on sales contracts for hundreds of MW’s of wind and gas turbine technology, managing the input of GE’s engineering, sourcing, legal and finance teams into the contract negotiation process. Prior to her work at GE she spent two years in the commercial team at a renewable energy development company in Sydney, Australia, which completed an IPO and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2002.

Carson completed a MBA in Finance and Strategy at New York University’s Stern School of Business and received her BA in Political Science from Brown University.  Ms. Harkrader lives in Durham, NC.

Christopher Jones – Solar Project Designer

Christopher joined the Carolina Solar Energy team in 2015.  His primary responsibilities include site selection, initial layout, and project lead management for new development projects.

Prior to joining Carolina Solar Energy, Chris worked for Sundance Power Systems in Weaverville, NC as an Assistant Designer for residential and commercial scale installations. Chris was also involved in the construction of the first 1 MW project in NC and was then involved with the on-site management of the first 5 MW solar installation in NC while working with Strata Solar. Chris graduated in 2012 with a BS Degree in Appropriate Technology from Appalachian State University.

Rachel Donahue, PE – Manager of Project Development

Rachel joined the Carolina Solar Energy team in 2015.  Her primary responsibilities include regulatory filings, environmental permitting, zoning, and timeline management for the projects as well as site selection based on transmission and distribution system constraints.

Prior to joining Carolina Solar Energy, Rachel worked for Geosyntec Consultants in Raleigh, NC as an engineer on environmental assessment and remediation projects. Rachel received her BS and ME in environmental engineering sciences from the University of Florida.